Another cool, wet week has led to a limited accumulation of degree days. Based on our calculations, common stalk borer activity still doesn’t warrant any scouting, but spraying field edges should be avoided around Hot Springs, Winner and Vermillion.
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There are several important insect pests that can severely injure corn during the early vegetative stages. One of these pests is the black cutworm. Although black cutworm caterpillars injure corn by feeding on leaf tissue, the serious damage occurs when caterpillar feeding results in the cutting of young corn plants.
Growth and development in crops are a direct response to accumulated heat units or growing degree days (GDD). The Corn GDD Tool at the High Plains Regional Climate Center can be a useful resource for not only estimating crop growth stage, but also for selecting hybrids within the appropriate maturity group.
Bronzed cutworms are not a common pest of corn in South Dakota. However, they can become an issue when corn is planted into areas that were previously grassland. Like its name implies, bronze cutworms feed on corn above the soil surface, which often results in cutting or clipping.
Supply and demand regulates U.S. agricultural and non-agricultural markets all the time. Prices increase when scarcity of a certain item is anticipated. Similarly, prices drop if the market is saturated because of oversupply or there is a reduced demand for the product.
Not too much is new regarding common stalk borer activity when compared to last week. Another cool, wet week has led to a limited accumulation of degree days. Based on our calculations, common stalk borer activity still doesn’t warrant any scouting. We will continue to monitor the degree days and provide updates.
It was another cool week in South Dakota with not a lot of degree day accumulation occurring. Alfalfa fields should still be monitored for alfalfa weevil activity even though the cool wet weather might have slowed this pest down.
One of the insects that should be monitored for in alfalfa during the spring and early summer are pea aphids. Although we haven’t spotted any yet in 2019, the presence of pea aphids in alfalfa is common.
Large farms play a more dominant role in South Dakota crop production, according to the recently released 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture. As of 2017, large farms of more than 2,000 acres operate 66.8% of South Dakota total cropland aces compared to 47.7% as of 1997.
With the challenges of getting crops planted this year many farmers are likely weighing their options and re-considering their planting intentions. For producers that can market feedstuffs through livestock (particularly cattle), it may be premature to completely abandon corn simply due to calendar dates.